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Video Copying Machine

Because the DMCA is stupid
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I'll get to the Invention in a bit. First, I need to let off some steam.

The purpose of copyright law is to grant an author a monopoly on DISTRIBUTION of the created work. So, when you buy a book, you are not supposed to make copies and give them away. (Few did that, of course, before the Digital Age, because copying books was so time-consuming.) The same principle should apply when buying records or tapes or computer disks. While it is an unfortunate fact (for copyright holders) that it IS easy to make copies these days, the solution is NOT to bring back the Bad Old Days. It is to prosecute people who make and DISTRIBUTE unauthorized copies.

In some ways the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is WORSE than the Bad Old Days, because it would make illegal your abilty to RETAIN the copies that you buy. See, a LOT of different digital media just simply hasn't got the sort of shelf-life that plain old words-printed-on-paper have. (Many CD-Rs, for example, become unreadable after only 3 years, even if never used.) To save the Digital Information that you legitimately purchased, you MUST be able to make backup copies. Any Law that inhibits this is simply playing into the hands of the Planned Obsolescence business model, known for its wastefulness-of-resources in a crowded world.

So, on to this invention, intended to get around video-copying restrictions, so that you can keep what you paid for. Just remember to keep those copies to yourself!

As a quick bit of background info, note that all standard video recorders intercept a stream of data, somewhere in-between the data-source and the actual video screen. This data is now being "tagged" with "do not copy" markers, so that any intercepting equipment can be required to be built to pay attention and not copy the data.

However, at the actual video display unit, the signal is cleaned up so that the picture presented to the viewer is as clear as if the anti-copy tags had never existed.

So, start with the highest-quality TV that you can get. Then build a box that covers the front of the screen. In this dark box put a high-quality video camera. Now do whatever you have to do to syncrhonize the camera's "frame grabbing" with the display of each frame of the video you are copying. (If you watch enough old movies, you will see scenes in which TVs were on-camera, and the images displayed there were flickering, due to being non-synchronized with the movie camera.) You also want to be sure that the whole image the camera captures is identical to the whole screen of the TV, no more and no less. This means the place in the box where the camera is mounted needs some fine adjustment capability. Finally, send the signal from this camera to an appropriate recorder. You can now make a backup of your video data, no matter what kind of anti-recording tricks are tried by the greedy and wasteful backers of the DMCA. Because they MUST, in the end, offer the user a clear viewing experience! (--Oh, and remember to record the audio, also. :)

Vernon, Dec 21 2005

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       Brief.
normzone, Dec 21 2005
  

       I can understand the dilema in the computer world where if you pay $600 for a piece of software that is on a $2 CD, you would want to be able to make backup copies so that you can protect your investment. But when it comes to a $20 movie on DVD or a $13 recording of your favorite singer I believe that there has to be some degree of wear and tear that they end user will have to absorb.   

       In the old days when our vinal records and tapes would wear out we would simply buy new ones. Those who were very meticulous about keeping the grooves cleaned and keeping a sharp stylus in the turntable were the ones who held on to their investment longer.   

       I just cannot see the purpose in allowing people to copy CD's and DVD's simply because they are not good stewards over their stuff.
Jscotty, Dec 22 2005
  

       My dad used to copy his favorite records to his reel-to-reel tape player. Not much has changed but the medium. In the end, it's your stuff and you should be able to do what you want with it as long as it's not theft. We gave up rights with the DMCA, and although [JS] is fine with that I prefer holding on to my rights whenever possible.   

       As for the idea, I think you'd get higher resolution monitoring the electronics in your TV. This could be done right at the electromagnets that control the electron stream.
Worldgineer, Dec 22 2005
  

       Most copy-protected media is easily negotiated. If you want to record video/dvd from one source to another why not just make a box that records straight from CVBS (Scart) video outputs. CDs that do not get recognised on the computer are easy to record if you draw over the computer data section of the disk with a marker (It is the inner ring).   

       I agree, it can be neccessary to duplicated media but its much better to take care of it.
miasere, Dec 22 2005
  
      
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